Ryberg, Sanford outline strategy to fight Yucca Mountain decision

COLUMBIA -- Republicans today criticized the Obama administration's decision to halt plans to make Yucca Mountain in Nevada a permanent nuclear waste storage facility, and outlined legal and legislative options to fight the administration's decision.
Gov. Mark Sanford threatened to take legal action against the federal government if the White House does not reverse its position by the end of the month. And Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, said he plans to introduce legislation to divert payments flowing from the state to the federal government so that South Carolina can create a fund for its own waste-storage purposes.
"We have 30 years of science and probably millions of man hours and woman hours that have gone into the science of Yucca Mountain as a permanent depository," said Ryberg.
"We probably have 10 minutes in a poll that decided it wasn't good for the sitting (U.S. Senate) majority leader for Yucca Mountain to be pursued," he said, referring to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.
"The people of Aiken and neighboring counties have worked for decades at the Savannah River Site to assist the federal government while it developed Yucca Mountain," said Ryberg, adding that his resolution will end any future payments toward a permanent repository for the federal government, directing part of the money to a new state fund "to pay for a different permanent storage solution that we must obviously find for ourselves."
The press conference Tuesday included Republican U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson of the 2nd congressional district and Gresham Barrett of the 3rd district. Barrett was one of a handful of Republican candidates running for governor and other offices who attended the Tuesday press conference.
Reach Sarita Chourey at sarita.chourey@morris.com or (803) 727-4257



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